Officer Reserve Program makes Savannah safer, saves money

Published: Aug. 7, 2014 at 7:33 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2014 at 7:33 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The City of Savannah is finding new ways to supplement its hardworking and shorthanded police force, and at no extra cost to taxpayers.

The recently launched Reserve Police Officer Program is doing both of those things.

The program is similar to the Army Reserves. The participants are fully trained, fully certified officers who are ready to work when they're needed. The difference is they're all volunteers.

The program, which officially launched a few months ago, started with one reserve officer. Now they are up to six.

The Reserve Officer Program is made up of men and woman who serve to supplement the fulltime sworn workforce of the police department. They have the exact same powers, training and state required certifications. However, they have no rank or salary and they do not get any sort of compensation or benefits.

Not only is it saving money for the city and taxpayers, but it helps make the community a safer place.

"Well, every single one of our reserve officers has a full time job outside of this, so whenever they have the opportunity to commit themselves, whether it's weekends or special events," said Program Administrator Mark Dana. "If there's a call to action, a communication between command staff and myself, we'll deploy those officers to fill those gaps."

Right now the program is only accepting applicants from people who were formerly police officers and already hold those certifications, but they are hoping to expand that with night classes and training courses so other members of the community can join.

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